Serious Discussion Is there a way to test our protective "armor"?

silver0190

Level 1
Thread author
Oct 3, 2023
25
I was wondering if there is any program that can test the security of our PC.
A program that scans everything, that warns us of vulnerabilities within our router and our devices, that simulates a sort of penetration attack.
I've heard of Kali Linux, but I'm afraid it's too complicated to use and I might risk doing damage.
So do you know much simpler programs, perhaps helping with some tutorials on the web?
Thank you!
 

Victor M

Level 7
Verified
Well-known
Oct 3, 2022
321
You could hire a freelancer penetration tester on a job site like upwork.com : https://www.upwork.com/search/profiles/?q=penetration testing
You could further specify that if this is going to be a white box test or a black box test. A white box test is when the pen tester knows what security controls you use. It will save some time for the testing and it will give a more accurate test result. A pen test is meant to discover security holes in your defense and the pen tester can thus demo the weakness and recommend mitigation. The recommended mitigations are what you are really paying for. If you don't trust the pen tester, you can opt for a black box test. But the pen tester may give up prematurely, not wanting to spend additional time which prolongs the test and he runs out of budget, and you may not get good recommendations. However, you may decide that no hacker would be determined enough to spend 10 hrs of work attacking your PC and so you live with that. There are, after all, easier targets on the internet. So you have to decide whether to take that gamble.

Short of doing an actual penetration test, you could use a vulnerability scanner like Nessus Essentials to find out about vulnerabilities on a PC. It is free. The program is slow on first run. It has to download plug-ins, and it has to compile them before you can begin a first test. If you see a spinning circle on the top right, it means it is compiling the plug-ins. Be prepared to wait 20 mins+ for the downloading and compiling. Nessus has been around for a long time and it is quite good. The bad thing about it is if you have hardened your PC and deployed too many layers of protection, then it will not be able to discover the vulnerabilities; it will simply report that it could not perform an accurate test. And thus if you do have vulnerable applications and services under your layers of protection, you will not know. What you could do is turn off the modem and disable the protection layers for a bit so Nessus can do it's job. You can write down the layers so you don't forget to turn each of them back on. But thats for you to decide.

Don't forget that WiFi has a WiFi peer to peer component, and that turning off the modem would not affect that - your laptop is still listening. And peer to peer mode bypasses the firewall. To check that vulnerability off the list, you have to go to Device Manager, show hidden devices, and disable the WiFi Direct adapter. Do not delete it or it will simply re-install itself after a reboot, disable it.
 
Last edited:

TairikuOkami

Level 35
Verified
Top Poster
Content Creator
Well-known
May 13, 2017
2,434
I was wondering if there is any program that can test the security of our PC.
There were tests like that, but they are deprecated, security companies did not like them, obviously. They tell you, that if you go on the internet without AV or a firewall, you will be infected within seconds. Well that might have been true during XP days, but not anymore. I recall getting infected by XP restart worm twice during a clean installing of XP, because it had not firewall. 10/11 are so secure by default, that you would have to do get infected by yourself, actually many people do, because they share their card details or passwords for mere asking. You can try kids tests like this:


To sum it up, getting infected by malware is almost impossible, unless you are a security illiterate. Getting hacked can not be prevented, hackers hack NSA or FBI, so you do not stand a chance.
 
F

ForgottenSeer 97327

I also think that for consumers the threat landscape has changed, nowadays the threats are more related to:
  1. Phishing (with email hoaxes and fake websites) to get access to financial data or acquire log-in data and order stuff on your account
  2. Helpdesk scams (either to pay for a fix or to get access to your PC and obtain financial sensitive data)
  3. fake webshops and Consumer2Consumer portal fraud (goods paid for but never delivered)
  4. Worms to obtain login data or either add a device to a zombie/bot network
  5. Ransomware
  6. Sextortion & doxing
Only 4 and 5 are related to intrusions usually with fileless attacks using LoLbins (which risks can be easily minimized with Andy Ful's SWH and Firewall hardening with Defender set to MAX). Upcoming WindowsHybridHardening will stop all those advanced threats.
 
F

ForgottenSeer 103564

I was wondering if there is any program that can test the security of our PC.
A program that scans everything, that warns us of vulnerabilities within our router and our devices, that simulates a sort of penetration attack.
I've heard of Kali Linux, but I'm afraid it's too complicated to use and I might risk doing damage.
So do you know much simpler programs, perhaps helping with some tutorials on the web?
Thank you!
The problem with teaching someone how to do this, is their intentions. Knowledge as such can be used either way. While i do not personally know you, intentions sometimes speak louder than words. There is information all over the internet and how to's, why you are repeatedly asking here is a :unsure:
 

Victor M

Level 7
Verified
Well-known
Oct 3, 2022
321
Getting hacked can not be prevented, hackers hack NSA or FBI, so you do not stand a chance.
You are being too pessimistic. There are different hackers with different skill levels. The ones that dare to attack the FBI are obviously very skilled and very bold. And they won't bother with small fry targets like us. But there are ones who have just read an hacking text book and wanting to try their newly learnt skills. And there are ones who don't have the determination and dedication to spend 10 hrs on a single target. And then there are those who only know to buy tools on the black market. Those, we can stop and we have to deal with.
 

Victor M

Level 7
Verified
Well-known
Oct 3, 2022
321
why you are repeatedly asking here is a :unsure:
The poster may not have great googling skills, or simply don't know the key words to search for, or even know that such topics exists on the internet. Thus he is turning to people and forums and word of mouth.
 
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ForgottenSeer 103564

The poster may not have great googling skills, or simply don't know the key words to search for, or even know that such topics exists on the internet. Thus he is turning to people and forums and word of mouth.
I was going by his line of questioning in the other thread which leads me to believe as it's not that difficult, he is capable of searching.

It's the word of mouth part that leaves me questioning.
 
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Victor M

Level 7
Verified
Well-known
Oct 3, 2022
321
I would be more worried about DDoS ordered against me, it takes like $5.
That, I must admit, I don't know how to handle, depending on the scale of attack. I only know to transfer the risk by outsourcing. For me personally, I think I can accept the risk because I am not an online gamer.
 
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silver0190

Level 1
Thread author
Oct 3, 2023
25
You could hire a freelancer penetration tester on a job site like upwork.com : https://www.upwork.com/search/profiles/?q=penetration testing
You could further specify that if this is going to be a white box test or a black box test. A white box test is when the pen tester knows what security controls you use. It will save some time for the testing and it will give a more accurate test result. A pen test is meant to discover security holes in your defense and the pen tester can thus demo the weakness and recommend mitigation. The recommended mitigations are what you are really paying for. If you don't trust the pen tester, you can opt for a black box test. But the pen tester may give up prematurely, not wanting to spend additional time which prolongs the test and he runs out of budget, and you may not get good recommendations. However, you may decide that no hacker would be determined enough to spend 10 hrs of work attacking your PC and so you live with that. There are, after all, easier targets on the internet. So you have to decide whether to take that gamble.

Short of doing an actual penetration test, you could use a vulnerability scanner like Nessus Essentials to find out about vulnerabilities on a PC. It is free. The program is slow on first run. It has to download plug-ins, and it has to compile them before you can begin a first test. If you see a spinning circle on the top right, it means it is compiling the plug-ins. Be prepared to wait 20 mins+ for the downloading and compiling. Nessus has been around for a long time and it is quite good. The bad thing about it is if you have hardened your PC and deployed too many layers of protection, then it will not be able to discover the vulnerabilities; it will simply report that it could not perform an accurate test. And thus if you do have vulnerable applications and services under your layers of protection, you will not know. What you could do is turn off the modem and disable the protection layers for a bit so Nessus can do it's job. You can write down the layers so you don't forget to turn each of them back on. But thats for you to decide.

Don't forget that WiFi has a WiFi peer to peer component, and that turning off the modem would not affect that - your laptop is still listening. And peer to peer mode bypasses the firewall. To check that vulnerability off the list, you have to go to Device Manager, show hidden devices, and disable the WiFi Direct adapter. Do not delete it or it will simply re-install itself after a reboot, disable it.
You could hire a freelancer penetration tester on a job site like upwork.com : https://www.upwork.com/search/profiles/?q=penetration testing
You could further specify that if this is going to be a white box test or a black box test. A white box test is when the pen tester knows what security controls you use. It will save some time for the testing and it will give a more accurate test result. A pen test is meant to discover security holes in your defense and the pen tester can thus demo the weakness and recommend mitigation. The recommended mitigations are what you are really paying for. If you don't trust the pen tester, you can opt for a black box test. But the pen tester may give up prematurely, not wanting to spend additional time which prolongs the test and he runs out of budget, and you may not get good recommendations. However, you may decide that no hacker would be determined enough to spend 10 hrs of work attacking your PC and so you live with that. There are, after all, easier targets on the internet. So you have to decide whether to take that gamble.

Short of doing an actual penetration test, you could use a vulnerability scanner like Nessus Essentials to find out about vulnerabilities on a PC. It is free. The program is slow on first run. It has to download plug-ins, and it has to compile them before you can begin a first test. If you see a spinning circle on the top right, it means it is compiling the plug-ins. Be prepared to wait 20 mins+ for the downloading and compiling. Nessus has been around for a long time and it is quite good. The bad thing about it is if you have hardened your PC and deployed too many layers of protection, then it will not be able to discover the vulnerabilities; it will simply report that it could not perform an accurate test. And thus if you do have vulnerable applications and services under your layers of protection, you will not know. What you could do is turn off the modem and disable the protection layers for a bit so Nessus can do it's job. You can write down the layers so you don't forget to turn each of them back on. But thats for you to decide.

Don't forget that WiFi has a WiFi peer to peer component, and that turning off the modem would not affect that - your laptop is still listening. And peer to peer mode bypasses the firewall. To check that vulnerability off the list, you have to go to Device Manager, show hidden devices, and disable the WiFi Direct adapter. Do not delete it or it will simply re-install itself after a reboot, disable it.
Thanks Victor, for the moment I prefer to do it myself without having to contact a professional in the sector.
Which version of Nessus should I download? Because on the Tenable site there are a lot of trials: Tenable One, Tenable Vulnerability, Tenable Nessus, and so on.

So before starting the program, disconnect from the internet and deactivate any security-related programs.
However, I didn't understand the last part where you talk about Wifi: should I deactivate the network card?
 

silver0190

Level 1
Thread author
Oct 3, 2023
25
The problem with teaching someone how to do this, is their intentions. Knowledge as such can be used either way. While i do not personally know you, intentions sometimes speak louder than words. There is information all over the internet and how to's, why you are repeatedly asking here is a :unsure:
LOL.
Do you think I have the knowledge to be a hacker?
I didn't ask for programs to attack but programs to protect and that could help me discover the weak points of my computer.
Yes, I did some research and saw that there are programs like Kali Linux that can be useful, but I wouldn't be able to use them (also because I would have to install a virtual machine and I wouldn't know where to start).
If you think I have bad intentions, well, you're free to think whatever you want.
 

Victor M

Level 7
Verified
Well-known
Oct 3, 2022
321
Last edited:
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ForgottenSeer 103564

LOL.
Do you think I have the knowledge to be a hacker?
I didn't ask for programs to attack but programs to protect and that could help me discover the weak points of my computer.
Yes, I did some research and saw that there are programs like Kali Linux that can be useful, but I wouldn't be able to use them (also because I would have to install a virtual machine and I wouldn't know where to start).
If you think I have bad intentions, well, you're free to think whatever you want.
Im not sure what your comprehension or perspective is on what i said, but you have to acknowledge how this looks. You were given advice in the other thread, you ignored and continued to ask questions on how to get around the net without others knowing it was you, and now you are asking how to scan a computer to look for weaknesses. Your questioning suggests you are at least intelligent enough to form questions and ask which means you can do searches as well. I will not provide more, if others want to that is their prerogative.
 

silver0190

Level 1
Thread author
Oct 3, 2023
25
Im not sure what your comprehension or perspective is on what i said, but you have to acknowledge how this looks. You were given advice in the other thread, you ignored and continued to ask questions on how to get around the net without others knowing it was you, and now you are asking how to scan a computer to look for weaknesses. Your questioning suggests you are at least intelligent enough to form questions and ask which means you can do searches as well. I will not provide more, if others want to that is their prerogative.
To tell the truth, I've opened several threads:

1) In the first I asked what a hacker could do with our IP and how to protect ourselves from possible attacks that go beyond installing the simple antivirus/firewall (basing my "fears" on real events like taking over an IP to create legal problems or create false evidence, if you don't believe it, there's a lot of news on Google about this);
2) In two other threads I exposed my security level of my computer and my smartphone: if there was a hacker in here, for example, he would already know what my "weak points" are. I would say that as an "undercover hacker", as you are alluding to, I would be quite stupid and naive, no?
3) My last thread concerns the request for software that can tell me where my computer is vulnerable, for example if there are weak passwords or in some hacker-database, if some application update is missing, and so on.

I've never asked questions about getting around the internet without knowing it was me, that's your invention. I also admitted that I don't use any VPNs because I don't trust these programs. The administrator of this Forum can confirm that I am accessing the site with my real IP. Again, do you really think I'm a threat?

You are free not to participate in my discussions, I will not be offended. However, if you tell lies about me because of your paranoid ideas, this is your problem and I don't accept it.
 
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Ink

Administrator
Verified
Staff Member
Well-known
Jan 8, 2011
22,394
To tell the truth, I've opened several threads:

[...]

I've never asked questions about getting around the internet without knowing it was me, that's your invention. I also admitted that I don't use any VPNs because I don't trust these programs. The administrator of this Forum can confirm that I am accessing the site with my real IP. Again, do you really think I'm a threat?

You are free not to participate in my discussions, I will not be offended. However, if you tell lies about me because of your paranoid ideas, this is your problem and I don't accept it.
There's plenty of free education surrounding networking and ports on YouTube, or guides on GitHub/Lab which may explain everything in more detail.

Whilst it's not mandatory to use a VPN at home, it does have its own benefits to accessing geo-blocked content and other use cases. On the other end, a VPN is a MUST on Shared, Public and Hotel WiFi as it's a Untrusted network.

Untrusted networks pose a serious security risk to vulnerable devices, your identity and data.
 

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